Inventors have claimed...

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Joculator, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    ... to have developed the world's first computer weather forecast system aimed at preventing road accidents in winter.

    Full article here

    Call me an old fogey, and some probably will, but don't we get weather reports every 20 minutes or so on the radio, every hour on the TV and isn't a quick look out of the window is a dead giveaway to the current conditions?

    So why do we need a PC network to tell us all it's cold and icy outside on the roads.

    Let's face it weather forecasting is not an exact science. Last Sunday, in Durham, we had about 1cm of snow, the local forecast said we could expect another 10 cm over the next few days. The next day it was sunny, the snow melted and we had a week of pleasant sunshine. That made it extremely difficult to get around. You couldn't see where you were going for the brightness.

    It's a sad thought that the management of our Highways Department have to be told when to activate the master plan to keep our roads open. What happened to common sense? It's February. It's winter. What are we expecting, the sun melting the tarmac on the road surface and sticking everyone on the M25?

    We all know the temperature drops below freezing at this time of year so why is it such a surprise to these people? It's a little known fact that here in the UK our snow is so 'snowy' that a mere 2mm coating on most roads can bring the nation to a standstill, prevent aircraft from flying and bring the entire rail network to a halt.

    Local councils know their area so it shouldn't be a difficult job to at least keep the major roads fairly clear.

    So why does the British public panic so much?

    I like the sentiment, but road accidents happen all year round. What we really need is some way of training drivers to cope with icy conditions. Hell, we can produce articial ski slopes for summer use, why not have a few places around Briitain with 'snow centres' where people could be trained on slippery roads?

    Well, that's it from me. I just needed a good rant.
  2. Hsing Moderator

    I don't know about weather forecasting systems, but there is nothing in the world that will prevent railways and city councils stare at the sky in astonishment, exclaiming "What is this white stuff falling from the sky and why didn't anybody ever tell us of its existence?" The same goes for 50% of all car drivers, with the other 50% going "Let's drive home even faster than ususal before it gets us!"
  3. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    The issue is that if you only get snow like this every twenty years or so, or for a couple of days a year, it's totally uneconomical to keep equipment on standby to deal with it. More money would be wasted doing so than is lost by things coming to a standstill for a day or so. It's not like we live in Fargo, ND where people would be stupid not to invest in equipment to deal with the snow.

    I agree that the idea of the computer weather forecast system seems a bit redundant, but you seem to be arguing both that we already know what the weather is like and that we can't know what it's like, and that either way we should be able to deal with it instantly when it changes!
  4. TamyraMcG Active Member

    Some places are harder hit then others, Fargo is basically in a fairly narrow spot of a large funnel of nearly treeless plains, when the snowstorms come out of Canada, the winds push a lot of it all the way to Fargo. Thankfully there is all of 90 miles between me and Fargo and probably forty of them are forested. Surprisingly that type of snow barely lasts any longer then the stuff we get here, lots of it blows away and more melts a little sooner there, because we are on a "highland" (maybe fifty or so feet that you can hardly see) and it can be colder here.

    That said some communites just seem to have trouble even dealing with rain slicked roads, even in the summer. The best idea I have ever heard to learn to deal with driving on slick roads is to find a large empty parking lot and practice skidding a few times, once you have felt it and steered your way out of a skid, it is pretty easy to remember. I think the terror helps the memory. It doesn't keep you from having an accident but it can help. I still drive a lot slower when I feel the slippery roads, hopefully I will go a long while doing that, rather then roll another vehicle.
  5. Pepster New Member

    I agree with you Joc, basically they have invented something we already have but this time it has added buzzwords.

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